The fact that Virginia’s Republican Party wants voters to take a Party loyalty oath as a condition of voting in the publicly-funded and administered presidential primary shouldn’t surprise anyone.
In Utah, the Republican Party recently closed their previously open primary through a legal challenge.
In doing so, the Republicans relied on precedent set by the Democratic Party in the Jones case from California 15 years ago.
It's the same precedent that is being argued in Montana, Hawaii, New Mexico, New Jersey, and other states where the ‘right’ of political parties to control the first stage of the election is being used as a trump card against nonpartisan reform efforts.Most simply, the argument is: primary elections belong to political parties, so if you want to vote in them, just join the party.
Think about that for a second:
(1) Primary elections are an important stage of the election process, (2) Primaries are funded by taxpayers, (3) Primaries are administered by public officials, (4) Primaries are the stage of the election that ‘legitimizes’ the credible candidates.
Or in Virginia, as they are now saying, you get this ‘right’ by declaring an oath to a political party?
Declare an oath to a political party, in America?
Why aren’t more people outraged at this suggestion?
If you said this in the 1950’s you would have probably been put on a watch list. But not today. Instead, you’re made Chairman of your local party and say it as though your Party’s right to control the election is a basic tenant of American democracy!
Today’s political scientists will tell you to ignore the fact that 47% of Americans consider themselves politically independent because “parties” are the fundamental building block for democracy.
Today’s political philosophers will tell you to ignore George Washington’s farewell speech where he warned about the dangers of political factions usurping the power of government.
Today’s legal scholars will tell you to ignore challenges to the constitutionality of closed primaries while, at the same time, political parties go state-by-state making sure only party loyalists participate in the first and most important stage of our taxpayer-funded election process.
Today’s political consultants will tell you to ignore the rapid trend towards political independence because partisan voters are easier to identify, easier to understand, and easier to control.
And today’s media doesn’t have to tell you to ignore this real threat to our democracy. They just don’t report on it.
When it comes to our election process, we still accept the notion that the world is flat.
And those who say that political parties are not the building blocks of democracy are heretics.
The irony here is that political parties are strongest when they represent the most amount of people.
And the reality is that a representative government can never be achieved by force.
So, we should never put political parties between citizens and their right to vote.
Doing so concedes the real building blocks of democracy: people.